They say, “You are what you eat.”
Many years ago, while in high school, I reached the age of enlightenment and began to think about the food I was putting in my mouth. Where did it come from? How was it harvested? What was in the food I consumed? Up until that point, the answers were simple. Food came from the store.
I will never forget the day in Health Studies when we discussed the chemicals and hormones injected into beef. A friend told me how veal was produced. I studied how chicken is “plumped up” with water. I was disgusted and swore I would never eat meat again. These were the days before “free range” and “organic” were part of everyday American vocabulary.
At that moment I became one of the thousands of carefree young adults joining on the vegetarian bandwagon… with no idea where I was headed.
It was years later when I met my future husband, Todd, that I again thought about my diet. Set up on a blind date we had little in common- other than that fact that we both thought about where our food had come from. I was a vegetarian. Todd was a hunter. It did not concern me that Todd “killed Bambi”. I knew he consumed the meat he harvested. The more time I spent with Todd, the more I realized he was on to something. The meat in his diet was free range, hormone free, organic. I was intrigued.
With time, Todd taught me how to hunt and helped me enhance my childhood fishing skills. It was not long before I caught my first salmon. I shot my first grouse. I began to garden. I learned to can, dehydrate, freeze and smoke food for preservation. I filled my freezer and I knew exactly where my food had come from.
Through my harvests I have found myself. I have deepened my appreciation for nature and become increasingly grateful for the bounty Mother Nature has to provide.
Today I am defined as a hunter, a fisher, a gardener, and a gather. I eat. Therefore, I am.
What activities in your life define who you are? Have you ever put much thought into the food you consume?